Dec 172014
Review: Easy Origami Animals

I love origami. There is something so relax and fun about making something out of just paper. I’ve made origami before, so I had an idea what I was doing when I started working through the animals in the book. I like that it has simple diagrams that are easy to read. The only animal I had trouble was the standing crane, and I could not get the legs to work. That one part needed some clarifications, but everything else I could understand. There was a wide range of animals from very easy to somewhat tricky. I like the variety […]

Dec 032014
Review: Allison's Brain

This was a really remarkable story of survival. I was quite impressed at how determined Allison was to recover, and how much her recovery seemed to be influenced by that determination. As an insider view of the Canadian health system, it was both eye opening, and slightly saddening. It was good to see the highlights, but it clearly shows that our healthcare could use some improvements. It’s not without flaws, even while being quite amazing. For instance, Allison has access to world class surgeons, but encountered several delays in obtaining an actual surgery date. The story is narrated by Allison’s […]

Dec 022014
Review: Raw Energy in a Glass

I haven’t read many non-fiction books lately, but this is one that I jumped at the chance of reading. My son has some eating issues, and as he tends to drink a lot of shakes and smoothies, I picked up this book with the hope of discovering a few new ideas. The first part of the book is mostly nutritional information. It was very informative, with the information presented in easy to understand sections. The second part of the book is all recipes. I have earmarked several to try, including a few cold soups that sound delicious as appetizers. I […]

May 222014
Review: Own It!

Before I start my review of this book, let me start by saying that I’m a huge fan of Tabatha Coffey’s tv show. I’ve watched it since it first started, and it gets better every season. Tabatha is confident, straight-forward, doesn’t put up with nonense and gives good simple advice. This book reads exactly like she talks on the show, so it’s no surprise that I highly enjoyed it. The only difference between the book and her show is that (1) she’s talking directly to you the reader, and (2) there are lots of personal snippets and anecdotes mixed into […]

Nov 262013
Review: The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister

This was a remarkable story about a young Russian girl who lived through WWII and the Holocaust. There are obvious ties to Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, but since it’s told from a completely different nationality, and from someone who survived, it makes for a uniquely different story. Something that really struck me was how many happy memories Nonna included in her tale. This isn’t just a stark look at the horrors she survived, but there are as many joyful memories from her past, both before the war and during the early years. It was heartening to know […]

Apr 172013
Review: The Pun Also Rises

I love puns. The cornier, the better. With that in mind, I was interested to learn a bit of history about puns. I didn’t realize how old the pun is, or how varied they can be. I also didn’t know that must puns are not meant to be funny, and that at various points in history, they were used quite seriously. The book itself was at times humourous and entertaining, and at other times dry and slightly boring. When the focus was on ancedotal stories, the book was great. Both entertaining and educational at once. When the focus was on […]

Feb 142013
Review: I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands: The Other Side of OCD

This was a very honest and simple memoir. I rarely read memoirs, but this one was very eye-opening while still being entertaining. People tend to think of OCD in a very narrow perspective, and this book really helped to highlight some of the lesser known aspects. As someone without OCD, some of the scenarios described in the book seem incredible, but when taken into the context of a mental illness, it just seems scary. The fact that it is so hard to fight and controllable OCD is one of the main things that makes it a such a scary illness. […]

Jan 032013
Review: Inside the Cup

I picked this book on a whim because while I love Starbucks hot chocolate, I am definitely a Starbucks beginner. I am the customer who practices their order in line so I can say it right. I never change my order because it seems scary. This book changed that. The book grabbed me with its entertaining first chapter. I admit I skipped around and checked out some drinks next, but I did read it all. There is lots to learn, and it’s laid out simply and in a very user-friendly manner. It was very helpful. I now understand what drinks […]

Aug 302012
Chef Michael Smith's Kitchen: 100 of My Favourite Easy Recipes

Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen: 100 of My Favourite Easy Recipes by Michael Smith Source: Finished copy for review from Pintail Books Links: Amazon, Goodreads, Author’s website Chef Michael Smith, Canada’s most popular chef, is passionate about cooking and sharing great food and flavours. Inside you’ll find Michael’s all-time favourite recipes, the ones he cooks regularly in his own home kitchen—lots of wonderful, memorable flavours that you’ll enjoy with your family and friends. Michael Smith is one of my favourite chefs, and as an added bonus, he’s Canadian. I love all his tv shows. This was the first of his cookbooks […]

Aug 072012
January First

January First: A Child’s Descent Into Madness And Her Father’s Struggle To Save Herby Michael Schofield  Source: Review copy for Crown Trade via Netgalley Links: Amazon, Goodreads, Jani’s Facebook page A brilliant and harrowingly honest memoir, January First is the extraordinary story of a father’s fight to save his child from an extremely severe case of mental illness in the face of overwhelming adversity. At six years old, Michael Schofield’s daughter, January, was diagnosed with one of the most severe cases of child-onset schizophrenia that doctors had ever seen. In January’s case, she is hallucinating 95 percent of the time […]